Friday, November 23, 2007

Getting to know Washington DC: Natural, Historic, Cultural and Artistic

Washington DC , the capital of United States, resembles Europe more than other American cities; here, people go to The Mall for a walk, and not to buy, and people ride the metro or take a walk to get to work (something almost unthinkable in other cities in the United States).

In DC, consumerism does not take hold of The Mall because it is not a shopping mall, but rather a beautiful park that hosts the obelisk, the Lincoln Memorial, and other monuments that commemorate the Vietnam Way, Korean Way and World War II.

Throughout the week, visitors and Washingtonians have free access to culture thanks to the Smithsonian Institution, a research organization that owns 9 research centers and the world’s largest museum complex with 19 museums including National Museum of Natural History, National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The National Museum of Natural History is a recommended stop to learn about the living and inert beings that make up our ecosystem by taking a look at diverse embalmed specimens, fossils, dinosaurs’ bones and precious stones.

The National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum is also worth a visit to observe how painting developed in the United States, beginning with the typical portraits painted during the colonization period and finishing with the contemporary paintings of our time. At the same time, visitors can learn about American history by paying attention to the portraits of American presidents and participants of the abolition of slavery.

Finally, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is another place visitors cannot miss when visiting Washington DC. Upon entering the museum, each person receives a passport with the name of one of the Holocaust victims to help him/her relive the stories exposed throughout the museum from one of the victim’s point of view. The section that displays the stories from the children point of view is particularly shocking and hair-raising.

It is important to point this is simply a bite of all the things visitors can do in Washington DC like visit the White House, go up the obelisk, sneak through the Spy Museum, etc. However, I think these stops provide wholistic picture of the United States from different points of view: cultural, historic, artistic and natural.



How to get there:
Korean War Veterans Memorial

Independence Ave. at the Lincoln MemorialPhone: (202) 426-6841
Metro Stop: Foggy Bottom-GWU
http://www.nps.gov/kwvm/


Lincoln Memorial
Independence Ave. & 23rd St. NW
Phone: (202) 426-6841
Metro Stop: Foggy Bottom-GWU
http://www.nps.gov/linc


National World War II Memorial
17th St. & Independence Ave. NW
Phone: (202) 619-7222
Metro Stop: Smithsonian
http://wwiimemorial.com/


Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Constitution Ave. & Henry Bacon Dr. NW
Phone: (202) 634-1568
Metro Stop: Foggy Bottom-GWU
http://www.nps.gov/vive


Museums:
International Spy Museum
800 F St. NW
Phone: (202) 393-7798
Metro Stop: Gallery Pl-Chinatown
http://www.spymuseum.org/


National Museum of Natural History
10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW
Phone: (202) 633-1000
Metro Stop: Federal Triangle
http://www.mnh.si.edu/


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl. SW
Phone: (202) 488-0400
Metro Stop: Smithsonian
http://www.ushmm.org/


National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th & F Streets N.W
Phone: (202) 633-8300
Estación de Metro: Gallery Pl-Chinatown

1 comment:

Anton said...

Remember that time you helped me shoot that pitch for the documentary on the transportation situation in the United States compared to other places around the world? Thank for your help. I really wish I would have gotten to do that film.

I've never used the public transportation in D.C. Is it good?